Community members speak out about the future 

Municipal hall still accepting questionnaires

Roughly 800 Whistlerites have taken part in Whistler’s future to date.

Municipal Information Officer Diana Waltmann said that kind of response is great for a population of Whistler’s size, which is about 10,000 year-round residents.

The 800 responses came into municipal hall during the past three weeks, primarily via the Internet. In addition many responses were collected at the community open house two weeks ago.

The process called Whistler. It’s Our Future asked residents to look at a Whistler in the year 2020. It offered up five different future scenarios ranging from a Whistler with no new development to a Whistler that allows more market housing and 7,000 bed units of resident housing.

The community was asked to decide. And if no scenario appealed to them, they could pick elements of the scenarios to create a blended future.

Mike Vance, general manager of community initiatives for the municipality, is expecting more responses to filter in over the next week or two, even though the deadline to respond was last Monday.

Vance said they wouldn’t turn any responses away at this point because staff is just beginning to sift through all the information.

Vance finished an all-day workshop at Whistler Secondary School on Tuesday, talking to eight different groups of high school students. After he made the presentations he asked them to fill in the workbook.

"They all got the affordability side of it pretty strong," said Vance.

"Even the Grade 7s, they all knew that a house in Alpine cost $1 million minimum."

Vance also said the workbook and questionnaire must have been fairly explanatory because very few community members called the help line.

"There’s a high level of sophistication in the discussions so people have done their research," he said, adding that people everywhere are engaged in this dialogue about the future.

"I think it’s great," said Vance.

"People are talking."

The community is now almost finished Phase 2 of Whistler. It’s Our Future.

By February the input from the community will be used to create a preferred future for Whistler, which will then be presented for community review.

The whole process will be finished by June 2004, after council approves the preferred future for Whistler and the policy framework is developed to implement the plan.

Anyone who still wants to fill out a questionnaire and have their say in Whistler’s future should log on to www.whistlerfuture.com or pick up paper versions of the workbook and questionnaire at the Whistler Public Library, the Meadow Park Sports Centre, all three schools and municipal hall.

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